The Alverno Laboratories’ Customer Experience committee’s journey is fully engaged, to actively listen to their customers and employees.
It was three years ago that Sam Terese, CEO and President of Alverno Laboratories, brought the concept of customer engagement to the table for the diagnostic laboratory setting.
“Sam has a vision for the company,” explained Susan Kretz, the chair of the Customer Experience Committee. “He wanted to ensure Alverno was delivering on a promise of an exceptional experience for our patients. Our patients will return if their interaction with us is excellent, which is our ultimate goal.”
While it may sound simple at a high level, the process of achieving a high rate of customer satisfaction includes many steps along the way.
“We began by forming a committee to gauge our process and progress,” Kretz continued. “In order to have a wide perspective of everything involved, we made sure the committee was made up of associates from all departments, such as administrators, clinical, and phlebotomy leaders.”
“The committee began by learning what the ideal customer experience could be and, in the process, learned that many patients who come to us for laboratory testing are anxious about the entire visit, including the actual blood draw,” Kretz said. “Alverno implemented standards of interaction with patients many years ago but the committee found that the training had become stale and that new avenues of training should be considered for front line staff to engage with patient during their visit at Alverno.”
Talking to the customers and alleviating their concerns went a long way to making them feel more comfortable and relaxed. Employees at all levels went through training in communication and how to help ease their patient’s anxiety.
“We utilized several videos that demonstrated the correct and incorrect way to engage the customer,” Kretz said. “Communication is so important, and we wanted to emphasize this to everyone in the organization.”
Alverno purchased HappyOrNot terminals and placed them at select patient service centers and outpatient locations. Patients are encouraged to use the simple survey by pressing one of four smiley face buttons, colored bright green to bright red, that register their level of satisfaction. In addition, the easy-to-use terminals allow patients to further define their choice by prompting them to select one of six reasons, such as staff professionality or wait times.
“The ease of use solicits a much higher response rate,” Kretz said. “The more data we collect, the better we can refine our patient experience.”
“Alverno Laboratories wants every customer to be glad they chose our facility for their lab work,” Kretz said. “We go above and beyond to ensure their complete satisfaction. It’s a prime example of a compassionate, caring company.”
Alverno Laboratories is one of the largest integrated laboratory networks in the United States and owns or operates 36 hospital laboratories and a central laboratory performing both clinical and anatomic pathology. Its more than 1700 associates ensure the patient experience is exceptional. Alverno’s innovative, state-of-the-art laboratory offers cost effective testing and personalized customer service, with advanced technology and testing in Precision Medicine/Next-Gen Sequencing, toxicology and other specialty testing.